Just to recap where we are today, the U.S. Health & Human Services Department (HHS) Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has authorized three organizations to perform complete EHR and/or EHR module testing and certification under the Temporary Certification Program Rules. Certification means that the EHR or EHR module has the capabilities necessary to support the efforts of eligible hospitals and eligible professionals in meeting the Meaningful Use requirements under Final Rule issued by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for Meaningful Use. The three ONC-Authorized Testing & Certification Bodies (ATCBs) to date are Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), Drummond Group, Inc. (Drummond), and InfoGuard Laboratories, Inc. (InfoGuard). For additional information about the ONC process for achieving ATCB status, as well as more information about Standards & Certification generally, see the ONC webpage.
On May 29, 2009, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Technology (CCHIT) released its recently developed criteria, test scripts, and the “Concise Guide to CCHIT Criteria” outlining the characteristics of a qualified electronic health record (EHR). This criteria relates to ambulatory, inpatient, enterprise, and emergency room electronic health records. The “Concise Guide to CCHIT Criteria”, which is specific to ambulatory and inpatient criteria only, highlights the 2009 changes. The criteria has been submitted to the Health Information Technology Standards Committee for review, and feedback is anticipated by August 26. Shortly thereafter, CCHIT will begin accepting applications for the certification programs. To access this article, click here.